NEWS

Ex ELSTAT chief targeted for third time as case goes back to court

In what has become an ongoing saga, the case file of the former head of Greece’s statistical service, ELSTAT, Andreas Georgiou, is to go before the Council of Appeals Court Judges for the third time after the Supreme Court’s criminal section accepted a prosecutor’s appeal against his earlier acquittal.

Georgiou, who had been accused of falsifying budget data in order to justify Greece’s first international bailout, had already been cleared twice in rulings by the same council.

His file is to be re-examined after the Supreme Court accepted another appeal lodged by prosecutor Xeni Dimitriou.

Criminal charges of making a false statement were first brought against Georgiou in 2013 after ELSTAT employees accused him and other officials of the service of artificially inflating Greek budget figures in 2009 to force the country into an international bailout.

The case is widely regarded as political persecution and has drawn criticism from Greece’s international creditors, who last summer demanded that the issue be settled and Georgiou’s legal costs paid by the state before signing off on bailout funding.
Eurostat, the European Union’s official statistics service, has issued a series of statements over the years defending Georgiou and his figures.

The American Statistical Association last year wrote twice to Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, expressing its “deep concerns” over the continued prosecution of Georgiou, calling on the Greek state to exonerate him, reimburse his legal costs and issue a public apology to the former ELSTAT chief.
 

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